The volume Ming History: An Introductory Guide to Research is now freely available as a downloadable PDF file. This book, the third in the Ming Research Series, was compiled by Edward L. Farmer, Romeyn Taylor, and Ann Waltner, with the assistance of Jiang Yonglin, and published in 1994 by the History Department of the University of Minnesota. It includes information about conventions in the field, key primary sources, modern scholarship and reference works, and samples of primary sources with vocabulary lists. Although some of the information is out of date (e.g., on secondary scholarship and reference works published since 1994), it remains an invaluable resource.
The file below has been posted with the permission of the authors and can be freely downloaded. Please note that for the convenience of users, the text has been processed with OCR software to recognize the English-language text. This may be useful for finding keywords, but it is far from perfect, especially for non-English words (e.g., Romanized Chinese and Japanese), and Chinese characters are not recognized at all.
Ming History: An Introductory Guide to Research (PDF Download, approx. 11 MB)